A short report on ATCM-1

by Lee Peng Yee

The First Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics was held from 18th to 21st December 1995 at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. The objective is to initiate a series of conferences in Asia concerning the innovative use of technology for teaching and research in mathematics. The emphasis of the first conference was on the use of mathematics softwares in mathematics teaching and research.

There were 7 plenary lectures given by David C. Johnson, J. J. Uhl, Ki Hyoung Oh, Z. Karian, Tateaki Sasaki, Marston Conder, Wu Wentsun. Also, there were 4 special lectures by 3 speakers, namely, Paul C. Abbott (in place of Conrad Wolfram), Keith Geddes, and Roger Hunter, on the philosophy and the development of Mathematica, Maple and Scientific Workplace. Furthermore, there were about 80 topical presentations on pedagogy, computer algebra and computational mathematics, and 16 workshops on the use of various software packages. The conference attracted 12 exhibitors displaying new softwares, graphic calculators, and books.

The contents of the plenary lectures in some way represented the state of the art and the current issues of technology in mathematics. Johnson (UK) gave a survey of how technology was used in teaching mathematics in the past few decades. Uhl (USA) raised the question whether we should teach the same mathematics as the mathematics we used to teach. His answer was positive and he showed how that could be done. Oh (Korea) showed how computer-aided tutorials could be useful in teaching and in evaluation. Karian (USA) developed a statistics library for Maple so that the software can perform the statistical tasks more efficiently. Sasaki (Japan) advocated the involvement of engineers in our effort to promote technology in mathematics. Conder (New Zealand) explained how the meaning of proof had changed and how the proof may be done using computers. Finally, Wu (China) traced the process of how technology was involved in solving mathematical problems, which parallelled the development of mathematics in ancient China.

There were nearly 300 participants from 22 countries. Among the participants, 2/5 were local and 3/5 foreign. The local participants were teachers from junior colleges (senior high schools), polytechnics, and universities. The foreign participants were mathematicians, mathematics educators, and software developers. The chair of the international programme committee was Dr. Yang Wei-Chi of Radford University, and the chair of the local organizing committee was Dr Fong Ho Kheong of the National Institute of Education, Singapore.

The second Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics (ATCM '97) will be held from 16th to 20th June 1997 in Penang, Malaysia. The contact is:

Dr Yahya Abu Hassan, Chair of the Organizing Committee ATCM '97, School of Mathematics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. e-mail: ahyahya@cs.usm.my.

The chair of the international programme committee for ATCM '97 is

Dr. Yang Wei-Chi, Department of Math/Stat, Radford University, Radford, VA 24142, USA. e-mail: wyang@runet.edu.

Lee Peng Yee,
National Institute of Education, Singapore